Legalized Pot’s First Year – all about edibles/drinkables and Venture Funding Pours In!!

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Legal by Mirth Provisions

Edibles were one of 2014′s biggest stories, with nearly 5 million units sold in the first year— 2,850,733 recreationally and 1,964,917 units on the medical side.

Fascinating to see how this will play out – definitely expect pot-infused products to become a viable business category along the lines of energy drinks and energy bars. Judging by the number of people who are intrigued by the business opportunity, I expect that within the next decade, we’ll see a number of mainstream consumer packaged goods companies like Unilever or Pepsi dipping their toes into the water – most likely through acquisitions.  Brands like Mirth Provisions or Dixie Elixirs likely to be first to be snapped up.

Additionally, since tech startups and marijuana ventures have a lot in common, expect to see an increasing number of funding platforms looking to support both. Many of these startups have Silicon Valley veterans at the helm. In the case of the marijuana industry, although it may still be in its infancy, the potential for growth in this sector has many investors sitting up and taking notice. Among the primary factors now attracting investors to this still fledgling industry is that there is still ample room for innovation. Very interesting article from Investopedia here.  My synopsis below the break.

1. The marijuana industry has experienced a 74% growth rate over the past year, and has now become a $2.7 billion industry.

2. Investors who once backed tech firms are now funneling their funds into the cannabis industry. TechCrunch reports that the Founders Fund recently invested in Privateer Holdings. The fund, which was started by Peter Thiel, a PayPal co-founder, was just one of the firms offering $75 million in funding to Privateer Holdings, a firm that currently holds multiple cannabis investments.

3. Venture funding in marijuana startups is now pouring in from all directions. Rapidly becoming known as potpreneurs, marijuana startups are heavily betting on the potential for marijuana to be legalized in more states. Among those startups is Weedmaps, an app that gives users the ability to locate marijuana medical dispensaries. Another marijuana startup, Leafly, offers users the opportunity to rate and review various cannabis strains, kind of like a highly specialized Yelp just for the marijuana industry. Leafly is bringing in revenue of $100,000 monthly, according to Forbes.

4. CrunchBase reports that in the last year alone, there were almost 30 venture investments in marijuana startups.

5. Estimates indicate that as many as 12 million people in the United States use cannabis daily or almost daily.

The Bottom Line

While the legalized marijuana industry may still be somewhat of a new frontier, it is evolving rapidly, fueled by investors who are more than willing to hedge their bets on the potential offered by this controversial, yet, booming opportunity.

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